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Reflection and vision after 30 years

By President & CEO Curt Detjen
and 2015-16 Board Chair Al Zierler

The year was 1986 when a forward-thinking group of community leaders came together to help Walter L. Rugland fulfill his dream of establishing a Community Foundation. Careful, thoughtful consideration was given to including “for the Fox Valley Region” in the name. The founders understood that the Foundation would only be successful if it viewed the region as a whole, with a purpose of helping people who care about it to give back in ways to benefit and strengthen it. They also understood that the region’s vision of its future included expansion, growth and progress.


Walter L. Rugland

Thirty years of history proves that our founders were right. Through service to an ever-growing group of generous people, businesses and organizations that have created charitable funds, the Foundation was able to award a record $19 million in grants, which includes a record $1.1 million in scholarships, during the 2015-16 fiscal year.  We are grateful and proud of our home, and we work hard to leave it better than we found it. That’s an old-fashioned value, but it holds true in 2016 just as it did in 1986.

We are your Community Foundation. Expect to see us continue to help people learn about the most promising ideas that can make our region better, and ways to engage them in giving that strengthens our community, forever. Today, we are well-positioned to build upon the results of the past 30 years. Let’s honor the visionary leadership of our founders by doing more of what they’ve shown us how to do. That will be the ultimate compliment and thanks.

Read our annual Report to the Community at

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